African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Breaking down the wall of geneology

Dubbed the ‘1870 Wall’, there is a common misconception that AfricanAmericans can not trace their ancestry beyond the year 1870. That was the first year newly freed slaves were listed by name on the federal census. But, with tools like the Slave Narratives, DNA testing and the Internet, that wall can begin to come down. On Saturday, Feb.11, the Tyrrell Historical Library will hold an AfricanAmerican genealogy seminar at the Elmo Willard Library from 2 till 4 p.m. “This is an incredibly exciting time for African-American genealogy,”said Penny Clark, archivist at the Tyrrell Historical Library. In 1861, ten percent of all AfricanAmericans were not slaves but free people whose lives could be readily documented. Today, lives of blacks held as slaves can be traced through a wide array of genealogical sources. Through the Slave Narratives, African Americans can get a firsthand look at the life of their ancestors. The Slave Narratives are oral narratives transcribed in the 1930s, of more than 3,500 former slaves. They are searchable by name and subject and “can provide a wealth of genealogy,” said Clark. “The Slave Narratives are available on a website called” Clark suggests researchers save about $200 a year by using through the public library system where the services, including the Salve Narratives, are free to the public Full Story:


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